Crane and hoist manufacturer Condra Cranes has designed, manufactured and delivered a large jib crane that will be trialled for the bulk recovery of ore spilled underground.

The 5 t crane has a 9 m lifting height and a slewing radius of 5 m, with an orange-peel hydraulic grab and electromagnet – a combination that allows for bulk ore to be gathered, lifted and positioned while separating the iron-ore within it using the electromagnet.

After installation and commissioning at surface level for trials, the crane will play a key role in a prototype ore-recovery process. Permanent installation underground will take place after six months of tests.

The mine’s surface-level prototype solution comprises five different types of machines working together. Ore spilled along the conveyor lines will first be recovered by small articulated loaders, which will place it on dump trucks for depositing in a purpose-built pit.

The jib crane will then retrieve the ore from the pit using a combined grabbing, magnetising, lifting, slewing and travel functionality, depositing the ore into a feed hopper, from where a secondary conveyor belt will transport it to rejoin the main ore stream on its way to the crushing plant.

“The Condra jib crane is the key to this solution, and has been designed and built to withstand a harsh underground working environment with minimal maintenance. It comprises a pillar- supported, double-girder beam, topped by the crab-mounted hoist – an arrangement that maximises the grab’s lifting height and optimises productivity in the execution of a repetitive, but complex lifting task within the spilled ore recovery process,” says Condra MD Marc Kleiner.

The crab has a range of equipment, holding not only the 5 t variable-speed-drive hoist but also the hydraulic power pack, two hydraulic hose reels serving the opening and closing functions of the orange-peel hydraulic grab, and the cable-reeling drum serving the electromagnet. Slewing action is delivered through the power from three swivel drives, and limited by rotary limit switches defining and limiting travel extremities.

Read more: Jib crane to be used for underground ore recovery